Sunday, May 3, 2009

1969 Alpine A-110

In 1961, the Alpine A110 made its introduction, as an improved and updated A108. Most of the Alpines of the time made use of Renault parts that are mass-produced. The A-110's predecessor the A-108 was designed for Dauphine components, while the A-110 was the updated version made to use the R8 parts. The A-110 was first available with "Berlinetta" body works then with Cabriolet.

The A-110's fiberglass body sat on a chassis with a backbone of steel, the Lotus Elan influenced this design. The Alpine designers used Colin Chapman as a primary origin for their inspiration. The A-110 was outfitted with a 1.1 l R8 Major or with R8 Gordini engines, which had 95 hp SAE at 6500 rpm.

The engine is why, early in the 1970s, it achieved the majority of its renown as a winning rally car. This was after the 1960s when the A-110 won a number of French rallies using the iron cast R8 Gordini engines. This car was then outfitted with the Renault 16 TS engine, aluminium block. With two dual-chamber Weber 45 carburetor, this engine was capable of 125 hp DIN at 6000 rpm, which is why it reached 130 mph in speed.

In the course of the 1970 through 1972 racing seasons, the car gained international fame when it attended the new International Championship for Manufacturers and won a number of events throughout Europe. Among the most noteworthy was the car's victory in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally driven by the Swedish Ove Andersson.

In 1973, Alpine was bought out by Renault and the International Championship, at this time, was replaced with the World Rally Championship. Renault competed with the A-110, the team consisted of Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Bernard Darniche, and Jean-Luc Therier as the permanent drivers. Once in a while, there would be "guest stars" drivers such as Jean-Claude Andruet who had won the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally. This made the Alpine the first of the World Rally champions.

Around the world, there were other manufacturers of the Alpine, using various other names. Like in Brazil, it was Interlagos, which was driven by Emerson Fittipaldi in a few races. In Mexico, from 1965 through 1974, it was the Dinalpin, produced by Diesel Nacional that, by the way, also manufactured the Renault cars. In Bulgaria, from 1967 through 1969, the Alpine A-110 was produced and called the Bulgaralpine. This car was produced through the partnership of ETO Bulet and SPC Metalhim, this partnership also produced the Bulgarrenault.

By 1974, the Alpine A-110 had reached its end of being developed any further. At first A-110 was outfitted with fuel injection but it didn't produce any further performance improvements, then the DOHC 16-valve head was tried but that was unreliable. Next was a chassis modification using an A310 double wishbone rear suspension along with A-110 1600SC but that was no better.

Here is a rundown of the A-110 various engine types though out the years.

A-110 1100 "70" 1000 VA R8 Gordini type, 804 1108cc 95 hp SAE from 1964 to 1969
A-110 1100 "100", 1100 VA R8 Major type, 804 1108cdc 95 hp SAE from 1965 to 1968
A-110 1300 S 1300 VB tuned R8 Gordini type 804 1296 cc 120 hp SAE from 1965 to 1971
A-110 1300 G 1300 VA stock R8 Gordini 1300 type 812 1255 cc 105 hp SAE from 1967 to 1971
A-110 1500 stock Lotus Europa engine: R16 block 1470 cc 82 hp SAE from 1967 to 1968
A-110 1600, 1600 VA stock R16 from 1969 to 1970
A-110 1300 V85 1300 VC R12TS 1289 cc 81 hp SAE (68 hp DIN); from 1969 to 1976
A-110 1600S, 1600 VB tuned R16 TS 1565 cc 138 hp SAE (125 hp DIN); from 1970 to 1973
A-110 1600S, 1600 VC, SC R17 TS 1605 cc 140ch SAE (126ch DIN); from 1973 to 1975
A-110 1600S SI, 1600 VD R17 TS with fuel injection 1605 cc 140ch SAE (127ch DIN); from 1974 to 1975
A-110 1600S SX stock R16 TX from 1976 to 1978 type 843 1647 cc 93 hp DIN

The chassis was a steel backbone
Body panels were fiberglass
Weight was 1367 pounds
Length was 159 inches which 13.5 feet
Width was 59.1 inches, which is 4.925 feet
Wheelbase was 89.4 inches, which is 7.45
Track (front to rear) was 48 inches to 49.2 inches, which is 4 feet to 4.1 feet
The top speed was 139 mph at 6000rpm
Had front and rear brake discs
Has a 5-speed manual transmission

Currently, a fully restored French built Alpine 110 was located in Maryland and it is available at 60 thousand dollars.

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